II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > B. Kingdoms of Western Asia and Africa, to 323 B.C.E. > 5. Syria-Palestine, c. 3500–323 B.C.E. > c. Ebla and Mari
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
c. Ebla and Mari
c. 3500–1600
 
EBLA.  1
 
c. 3500–2400
 
EARLY EBLA. Urban culture began around the same time as the Mesopotamian Uruk Culture (3500–3100), but the first large palace dates to c. 2700–2400. Eblaite was a west Semitic language, possibly an early version of Canaanite.  2
 
c. 2400–2000
 
THE KINGDOM OF EBLA. At its height Ebla controlled the region, from the Orontes to Mari as far north as Carchemish, and held hegemony over a much larger area, from Kanesh in Anatolia to the northern border of Palestine. Ebla's king (malikum), was originally the elected head of an oligarchy made up of the provincial governors, who were the real power in the land. Ibrium (c. 2300) instituted a hereditary, and apparently absolute, monarchy. The kingdom had a sophisticated economy controlled by an elaborate palace bureaucracy. Women enjoyed a high position and a freedom unusual in ancient societies. Sargon of Akkad campaigned against Ebla, and his grandson, Naram-Sin destroyed the city (See 2371–2190). Ebla recovered, although little is known of its history except that it suffered another destruction around 2000.  3
 
2000–1600
 
AMORITE EBLA. After a period of subservience to the kings of Ur III (2112–2004), Ibbit-Lim founded the 2nd (Amorite) Dynasty. Amorite Ebla was much reduced from its third millennium height, but it was still the most important city in northern Syria. The Eblaites traded with the Assyrian colony at Kanesh (See c. 1900–1813). The city was finally destroyed between 1700 and 1600, probably by the Hittites.  4
 
c. 2900–1759
 
MARI.  5
 
c. 2900–2370
 
EARLY DYNASTIC MARI. Mari flourished in the Early Dynastic Period (2900–2370), and the 1st Dynasty of Mari is cataloged in the Sumerian King Lists. At some point Mari became tributary to Ebla, but when that city fell it recovered its independence.  6
 
c. 1900–1759
 
AMORITE MARI. In the early 19th century, Mari was ruled by an Amorite, Yaggid-Lim, who was succeeded by his son, Yahdun-Lim. The Assyrian Shamshi-Adad I (1813–1781) conquered Mari and made his son Yasmah Addu its ruler (See 1813–1741). Zimri-Lim, (c. 1791–1759), a descendant of Yahdun-Lim, drove out the Assyrians. The palace at Mari covered eight acres and contained a library of some 20,000 cuneiform tablets, almost all in Akkadian. Mari was destroyed by Hammurapi in 1759 (See 1813–1741), but continued to be a city-state. It was abandoned in the 8th century.  7
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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